Expert Opines on Infected Bedsores Developed by Nursing Home Resident

Joseph O'Neill

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— Updated on September 26, 2017

Nursing Home Expert WitnessThis case involves an elderly female who had become a resident of a retirement community after being diagnosed with dementia. The Plaintiff had been living at the nursing home for several months before family members began noticing signs of apparent neglect. In addition to signs of malnutrition, a number of large bedsores were noted by family members. These bedsores quickly became infected, prompting nursing home staff to take the Plaintiff to the hospital. At the hospital, the Plaintiff received antibiotics and wound debridement, however she eventually died. It was alleged that the nursing home had been grossly negligent in allowing the woman’s bedsores to progress to such an advanced stage without any apparent attempt at seeking medical care.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat nursing home patients for wound care?

Expert Witness Response E-009610

I feel that, based on the facts provided above, this is a very strong  case against the nursing facility. A vast majority of pressure sores are completely avoidable and most of the time, and there is no valid excuse for them developing or progressing to life-threatening status. Throughout my career I have had tens of thousands of encounters with patients in nursing homes that have pressure sores. Part of my practice is to educate and oversee nursing home staff on treatment and prevention of pressure sores. I have given lectures to regional Department of Public Health inspectors on this very topic, and shared methods on how to best determine if a pressure sore is avoidable or not. I have also had patients come under my care from other facilities or home with severe wounds that–given proper care under my direction–went on to healing these wounds.

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